Macon County Chronicle

RBS Basketball Fight at Clay County: An Interview with Principal Don Jones

With fans fired up and players too, a recent scuffle at the conclusion of the Red Boiling Springs High School Bulldog Basketball game at Clay County High School, this past Friday night, January 14, 2011, led to the dismissal of two Bulldog basketball players. According to numerous witnesses at the scene, several former Clay County basketball players were shouting very obscene statements, during the boy’s game, with two particular Bulldogs being singled out for most of the contest with racial slurs.

When talking to Red Boiling Springs High School principal Don Jones on Monday evening, he stated, “That’s my understanding, that they were using racial slurs almost from tip-off.”

After the game concluded, several witnesses reported seeing a fight break out between the two players and the unruly crowd, which then escalated into a free-for-all brawl that consumed a large portion of the gymnasium court.

“The two boys were all that I have been told that was involved,” he remarked, adding, “as far as jumping in, but I think there was another player reported injured, and others possibly trying to get the two boys back.”

When asked if the Zero-Tolerance policy was implemented in the decision to remove the two players from the team, Mr. Jones replied, “Zero-tolerance doesn’t cover fighting. All that policy covers is drugs, assaulting a teacher, or carrying a weapon on campus.“

“Coach (Michael) Owens called me and said he dismissed them from the team because they were fighting, so I guess in a way, that is Zero-tolerance.”

“Coach Owens just isn’t going to tolerate that kind of stuff,” Jones added, further explaining that “Coach Owens told the players to get in line, shake hands, keep your mouth shut, and get in the dressing room, but basically, they did not do what they were told.”

Mr. Jones also explained that Coach Owens knew the players were upset, and he said that he was trying to handle the situation before the fight broke out. “As far as I know, Owens told the referees that he was going to try and handle his players, but that they were going to have to do something about the crowd. The way I understand it, the administration of the school, nor the School Resource Officers, nor the Law Enforcement present did one thing to prevent what was going on.”

According to Mr. Jones, the incident, with racial slurs being tossed out at the two Bulldog players was reported to have happened during a previous basketball game at Pickett County High School, however the hosting principal and the Lady Bobcat’s high school girls basketball coach was able to keep their fans from continually crossing the line.

Since Clay County and Pickett County High Schools are not in Red Boiling Springs District, it is possible that this season will be the last these teams meet.  “This could cause us to drop them,” Mr. Jones stated, adding, “Because that kind of thing is something that I will not let go on in my own gym,” he asserted.